5 Hair Salon Recruitment Tips to Hire Experienced Stylists

hair salon

Hair salon recruitment is a huge issue for businesses in the UK right now as there is a shortage of hair stylists. Whilst demand for hairdressers is high, there are simply not enough stylists ready to be hired. Therefore, finding the right quality and calibre of stylists in your area has never been more difficult.

Every hair stylist that you employ in your salon is a direct reflection of your business’ standard, so finding the right people to bring to your team is vital to making you stand out, and will ensure your salon’s success. 

How to recruit experienced hair stylists

With that in mind, here’s how to recruit experienced hair stylists who are the perfect fit for your hair salon.


  1. Consider where and how you advertise

When looking for stylists or candidates with hairdressing backgrounds, it is worth looking on specialist job boards like Hairdressing Journal and EG Recruit, or alternatively, utilise specialist recruiters in the industry. 

Job boards such as Indeed are especially valuable for finding support staff, assistants, apprentices and receptionists, however, you can also use this service for your more experience-demanding roles. 

That being said, you can also use your own resources to advertise vacancies. By displaying job roles on your website, you will be sure to attract people who are already interested in working for your particular salon. These people are more likely to be passionate about your brand. Additionally, make use of your salon window or email newsletters. 

2. Use social media to your advantage 

When it comes to using social media for recruitment, both paid ads and organic posts are going to be important. 

With paid social ads, you can spend as little as £50 to advertise a post on social media, allowing you to target a wider range of potential candidates in your local area. Paid social advertising is especially effective, as you can choose audiences who you know will be interested in applying, meaning your budget for recruitment will be spent efficiently. For example, target people with an interest in hairdressing or products you use or are affiliated with.

You also have the ability to post directly to your social media profiles, and the best part about this is that it’s completely free. This could simply be a captivating post that talks about a role you’re hiring for. Our top tip is to encourage your followers to tag or share with someone who they think might be interested. 

3. Recruit internally using a referral scheme

Hair stylists are renowned for their social skills; they’ll have done a lot of networking in previous roles and also talk to numerous people on a day-to-day basis. 

Therefore, it’s always worth asking your existing team if they can recommend anyone for the role. This is an excellent way to recruit as your employees know the work environment well and will be able to assess if someone would be suitable. 

This can simply be a conversation with your staff, or you can add an incentive for them to find a new team member using a referral scheme. For example, if a staff member recommends someone for the role, then they will receive a monetary reward once that person has been hired and passed the probation period. This method can really propel your recruitment process.

Overall, internal recruitment means you’re more likely to bring in like-minded people that your team can get on with, and will fit in well with the business and team as a whole. 

4. Focus on your interview and trade test process

It is integral to ensure you give your interview process the care and the attention it deserves. Don’t try to squeeze in an interview in between clients, book time out of your diary to ensure you are making the right decision. After all, you’ll want to utilise all the time you can get to really get to know the person you’re potentially hiring.

Use the interview to gain insight into what the candidate is like as a person. Ask open questions to get them talking. Try to stray away from generic interview questions and ask things that truly matter to you. It is also important to use this time to tell them about the salon and answer any questions that they may have. 

For the trade test, you have to be mindful that there is a shortage of stylists and there are groups in the UK not doing trade tests anymore. On the other hand, there have been instances of salons asking for 10 models. If you do not feel that a trade test is necessary, you might want to request a portfolio instead.

With that in mind, here are our recommendations for executing successful trade tests:

Job Role

Trade Test Recommendation

Hair Stylist (Cuts only)

1 model consisting of a haircut with graduation

1 long layered haircut with styling

1 Gent’s Scissor over comb

Hair Colourist

1 Global tint application (must show an even application of permanent colour from roots to ends)

1 Half head highlights / Balayage

1 creative colour

Hair Stylist & Colourist

1 Global application with graduation haircut

1 Half head highlights with long layered cut

1 Gent’s Scissor over comb 

5. Make an offer fast 

On the one hand, it is important to carefully consider which candidate is right for the job. Though you can rush a decision and get someone hired quickly, you may have to pay the price later when you realise they are not right for the role.

On the other hand, time is precious during recruitment. Your candidates will surely be applying to numerous roles, so if you feel you have the right person it is crucial to get back to them quickly. In fact, salons that offer the job first are normally the businesses that get the person on board. 

When it comes to responding to unsuccessful candidates, it is always worth giving them some constructive feedback. This will help them with their job search, however, they will be more likely to remember your salon and apply for roles in the future. Ask to keep candidates' details if you feel they might be suitable in the future.

Use LEAF Academy for more industry insights

We understand that the hair industry is fast-paced and constantly changing, which is why the LEAF Academy is your go-to way to keep up to date. Here, you’ll find industry insights including how to be more sustainable, hair salon business advice and even expert cutting tutorials.

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